Tuesday, November 5, 2013

No News is Bad News

I've given up on traditional news media as a source of news.  Sirens can be sounding on our town, but we rarely know why, even after scouring newspapers the following day.

It occurred to me that towns should create streams of their emergency band radio chatter so that citizens can listen to what's going on, without having to buy a scanner.

Then it occurred to me that this was already being done.  And that's when my Internet search led me to RadioReference.  And I was overjoyed to find a stream of my town's police and EMS radio traffic on that website.

One night soon after, a police car was driving slowly down our street.  The officer inside was using a hand held search light to inspect the neighborhood.  I was outside with our dog, and another dog was barking nearby.  I assumed that a bear or some wild animal was spotted.

I ran back inside and connected to my town's stream.  I soon found out that they were searching for two armed robbers.  I hurriedly closed and locked all our doors.  It would've been nice if we were officially notified, but we were not.

I didn't get the full story until I read it in the newspaper the next day.  Two men armed with handguns entered a home about a half mile from ours.  They tied up the occupants and robbed the home.  I'm not sure why the newspaper didn't use the term "home invasion" -- perhaps because such things aren't supposed to happen here.

RadioReference is now hosted on Broadcastify.  Check it out -- it could save your life one day.  Gotta go -- a fire code is airing.

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